To the delight of the Parisian public, the Prestige Trophy closed on a French victory: that of Thomas Rousseau and Aresse M. With three placings since the start of the weekend and one excellent clear-round, this rider from Normandy was already in great shape and just one step behind the prize winners. Today, he had that extra 'something' that took him to the top place. Extremely at ease in the first leg, which saw only seven clear rounds, he was first to go in the jump-off.
"My horse is easily frightened by the other horses. When ever possible, I go first so that I can warm up while the other riders walk the course to avoid him getting stressed. It's not really a problem for the jump-off, as I never watch the others go round, even when I ride other horses. The disadvantage is having to walk the course very quickly." He rode the course in his usual smooth style. "My horse is very easy to steer and also has a huge stride. This gives him a disadvantage with lines, but if the course has jumps with tight turns, then I know I have a chance of winning." Which was the case today. Despite his efforts, the young João Victor Castro who had already won the Prix Imovix and come third in the Prix Free Lance, couldn't beat his time. Although he managed to get the only clear round in this jump-off to take second place.
Time is ticking on. The hall is full. The riders in the Masters class are walking the course for the Longines Grand Prix. The jumps are raised to the Olympic height of 1m60. All of the champions are here with their best horses. The competition promises to be truly exceptional.
Well done to the junior French riders!
They too wore the French team's blue jacket, and included young riders who already have European and World championships under their belt in the pony, children, junior and young rider categories. Throughout the weekend, we were able to closely follow the brilliant performances of Camille Condé Ferreira, Damien de Chambord, Paul Delforge and Tanguy Dobremez in the Prestige Trophy. We went to talk to them with the national pony, children and junior trainer, Olivier Bost.
"Together with Thierry Pomel (the national young rider trainer), we've devised a system that enables us to save the invitations to the best French competitions, provided by the Federation, for the riders in the junior French teams. This is the best way to get them used to competing, where they can gain experience and maturity.
Here at the Longines Masters of Paris, thanks to the Style & Competition for Amade, we are also able to show them how important it is to be generous in life. In the same spirit, we strive to instil in them a feeling of team cohesion, to encourage them to communicate between one another, to give each other advice – and to sometimes accept criticism from their fellow team mates." Under the guidance of these two mentors, the junior teams have accumulated several European medals over the last few years.
This year's Longines Masters of Paris public have no doubt seen the stars of tomorrow, the future Olympic generation.